Notice sent to 18 resorts for non-payment of rent: Minister of Tourism
Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom said on Monday they had sent notices to 18 resorts that had failed to pay ground rent.
While answering questions from parliamentarians, Dr Mausoom said they were issuing notices to stations that had failed to pay rent as stipulated in the relevant regulations. He said the ministry also has the power to deny a station a license.
Although he said notices had been sent to 18 stations, he did not say whether these were notices of dissolution of the stations’ operating licenses, or whether the stations were granted a extended term to pay money held in the department.
He said closing a resort would be bad for the economy of the Maldives, as well as Maldivians who might lose their current jobs because of such a decision. Therefore, talks are ongoing with the resorts to get the money, he said.
“If the state does not have the money it is owed, we will take action on its behalf and on behalf of its citizens,” Mausoom said.
As the majority of the state’s revenue comes from tourism, the minister said he will work constantly to ensure that the state receives it.
The government had previously proposed an amendment to the Tourism Law to reduce land rent from resorts. However, the amendment will be withdrawn after the governor and financial institutions advise that the state will suffer huge financial losses.
The state had previously suggested an amendment to the tourism law to reduce land rent from beach resorts. However, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had decided last week to remove sections relating to reduced resort rent from the proposed amendments. The changes had drawn a lot of criticism and concern, as reducing sources of income when the global economy is uncertain could lead to new economic hurdles for the Maldives.